Learning to let go.

We’ve all heard it before, we may even have done it ourselves: “It’s all because of x” or “If only I had done x instead…” hindsight has a way of playing with us that is neither constructive nor positive. It can drag us into a mire of regret and essentially confirm a narrative in our mind that reinforces the fixed mindset, rather than allowing us to move on and develop a growth mindset. Continue reading

The Art of Finishing what you Start.

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When you start down a path, making sure you reach the end is a sign of self-respect.

“Never leave a job half done.” My grandfather told me that as a boy. I haven’t forgotten those words, even if at times I have failed to act on them. He had been sitting, watching me finish a simple drawing one afternoon before I had decided to wander off before it was complete. In his way, he didn’t say anything at the time, but waited instead until I came back to sit down with him for lunch.

“You know that drawing you were doing before?” In my mind I was anticipating some sort of compliment or critique.

“You didn’t finish it…” He stated objectively. “Never leave a job half done.”

As a boy I didn’t think much about it until after his passing. Today, the more I reflect on the sentiment of his words, the more profoundly his advice affects me.

The more I think about it, the more it seems like everything he said to me had some intentionally deeper meaning he had planned and percolated on before he brought his words, or actions, into the world.

We, as individuals, are not just responsible for our choices or the paths we decide to walk down, but also for making sure we finish what we start.

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Listening: Your greatest tool for learning

 

This week I have been thinking a lot about how we learn. Often we leave school or formal education thinking that we already know everything we will need to get by. The reality of things is so far from this. My greatest experiences of learning have mainly occurred in the years since I left formal education.

More specifically, most of my learning experiences have involved Brazilian Jiu Jitsu; through that lens I have learnt more about myself, others and the nature of the world. I am mainly a kinesthetic learner: meaning I learn in a tactile way, by doing and physically working on something rather than listening. I can work out details, understand techniques and grasp concepts far quicker by doing them or have them done to me. I have tried to extend my ability to learn in other ways, as it is sometimes not enough just to rely on the one dimension of learning to carry me through (especially if mastery of the art is the goal). I have focused on developing my ability to Listen. Continue reading

Reaching a state of Flow

We’ve all heard the term ‘Flow’ used before. “Going with the flow” is a phrase often associated with an ability to move, or transition easily between tasks.

Reaching a state of Flow can feel almost transcendent; it’s that feeling of being ‘in the zone’, having that perfect training session or a highly productive period of creativity. Often we stumble across this state by luck, or the perfect combination of factors that we may be unaware of. With a bit of understanding of the concept of Flow, can we reach this state frequently and intentionally to maximize our enjoyment of our chosen disciplines?

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The Power of Complaining: A discussion on perspective and how complaining can cloud your outlook.

20160927_122242Our words are powerful. They affect our thoughts, as well as those of the people around us. By giving words to the problems we have in our lives, we give them power. That power can change the way we look at a challenge, that power can drain your optimism and replace it with that soul crushing pessimism. Giving power to you complaints is essentially self sabotage, but it can be avoided. Continue reading

On finding your “why”: Thoughts on Motivation.

20160927_122238“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why” – Mark Twain

Since we, as human beings, have been capable of abstract thought we have wondered about our purpose in life. Why are we here? What is our purpose? Most importantly, what is the meaning of life? We look for answers to this question in religion, in literature, in people and philosophy. Often we are thrown into despair when we project these questions outwards into the void of the universe and hear nothing, not even an echo, in reply. But are we looking in the wrong place? Instead of looking outwards, why not look inwards?

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Why the Pursuit of Happiness is stopping you from achieving success.

20160112_111131I sit with a student in the careers office, I ask them “What do you want to do with your life?” in response I receive the non-committal slur; “I don’t really know, I just want to be happy.”
I’ve really grown to detest this sentiment. Granted, an adolescent kid will be unlikely to have a good grasp of what they want to do, and that’s okay, that’s not where I see the problem. The problem I have is that happiness (and it’s pursuit) often stops us from reaching our full potential.

This is a discussion about growth. Growth means change. We have to change things to reach our goals. Is it always going to be happiness, sunshine & rainbows on the road to your goals? Probably not. Is that necessarily a bad thing? Definitely not. Continue reading